welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: the most expensive congressional race in us history. democrats and republicans battle it out in georgia. belgian soldiers shoot dead a suspected suicide bomber after an explosion at brussels train station. the new leader of hong kong says she'll not be able to guarantee freedom of speech in the territory. also in the programme — why barbie‘s boyfriend ken has been given a 21st century makeover. hello. democrats have been calling it the "make trump furious" election — and the special election in georgia is being widely seen as a referendum
on the trump presidency so far. it is certainly the most expensive congressional race in american history. both main parties have poured money into the battle for the atlanta seat, held by republicans since 1979. polls closed just over two hours ago and votes are still being counted. live now to our correspondent nick bryant in atlanta. how does it look? as you join me john lewis in the neighbouring district is addressing the crowd with a thunderous booming voice. he came to work as an intern in his office in washington. this will be a close race. 10% are being counted so far. the republican candidate has a
small lead of 50.2% right now. only a couple of votes in it and many more to count. we expect this to be a very, very close result. things we re a very, very close result. things were different in the first round. and in the republican vote was heavily split in the first round. although if you added up all the candidates together there was an early race in april where there was only one democrat and a number of republicans in the contest. if you added up the republican vote, they had 51%. this is a strongly republican district. you have to go back to the jimmy republican district. you have to go back to thejimmy carter presidency for the last time the democrats held this seed. it used to be the seat of newton gingerich, this should be a
safe republican seat. there should be one of those congressional races that you read about on page 49 of the newspaper that this will be front—page news if the democrat candidate wins here tonight. that would send a big message to donald trump. for a large extent this is a referendum on his presidency and must be said that although this is a strongly republican seat, it is not trump country. he only won this seed bya trump country. he only won this seed by a 1%. when the republicans are the primary in georgia last year, this district went to marco rubio instead of donald trump. people here are white—collar and highly educated, they do not go to the blue—collar populism of donald trump. and that has been a problem for the republican candidate here. she has tried not to make it a referendum about donald trump but the presence of donald trump in the
white house has mobilised the democrats to get out in huge numbers. the candidates are the democrats has energy in the race but the question is does he have the numbers? it should be a safe republican seat. the us state department has said that north korea is directly responsible for the death of the american student otto warmbier. are pushing for the release of other americans held in the country. warmbier was released a week ago and died recently. president trump spoke again about his case at the white house today. it is a total disgrace what happened to otto. that should never ever be allowed to happen. and frankly, if he were brought home sooner, i think the result would have been a lot different. he should have been brought home that same day. the result would have been a lot different. but what happened to otto is a disgrace. belgian soldiers have shot
a suspected suicide bomber after an explosion rocked the central train station in brussels. police say the man was wearing what appeared to be a bomb vest and triggered a small explosion. he later died. prosecutors are treating the incident as a terrorist attack. this report from frankie mccamley. brussels central station evacuated shortly after police say a man triggered a small explosion. eyewitnesses say they heard gunfire and multiple explosions. just minutes later, smoke can be seen inside. as the station was evacuated, flames we re as the station was evacuated, flames were caught on camera inside. translation: i went down the stairs to go back to the platform where i had to go and they i heard someone shouting and then at one point he shouted "allahu akbar" and blew up the suitcase he had. ijust carried on down, trying to get as many people to evacuate as possible.
and there he was, just behind me, two metres away from the stairs, and he still had the belt on him. out side, moved back by police officers, people gathered together to make their way to safety, trying to make their way to safety, trying to come to terms with yet another attack in the city. we heard an explosion and my colleagues started shouting that it was a bomb! it is a bomb! i saw the man. he came towards me so i began to panic. luckily he turned around and went away. the country's military, which is already on high alert was on the scene within minutes, shooting dead the suspect. bomb disposal units were also sent in to make sure the area was safe. belgian prosecutors now say this is being treated as a terrorist attack. at about 8:30, there has been a small explosion in the central station here in brussels. the suspect has been neutralised by the military that were present at the scene immediately after the explosion. there were no other victims.
this incident is considered as a terrorist attack. the attack follows a series of attacks last year, when three suicide bombers targeted the city's airport and an underground station. an area popular with tourists enjoying the evening sunshine now on edge, surrounded by police and military personnel. frankie mccamley, bbc news. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news. the parents of the black teenager, michael brown, have reached an undisclosed settlement with city authorities in ferguson, missouri, over his fatal shooting three years ago. the killing by officer darren wilson — who was not prosecuted — sparked months of protests that grew into the black lives matter movement. oj simpson may get a prison release date next month. a parole court will consider whether to free simpson, who's served nine years for robbing and kidnapping a group of sports memorabilia dealers. he was famously acquitted
of murdering his ex—wife and her friend — although he was later found liable by a civil court. venezuela's president has replaced four top military commanders, amid accusations that security forces have been using live bullets on demonstrators. seventy—five people have died in protests since april. video has emerged showing at least three members of the national guard apparently firing on demonstrators. here in london, police are still questioning a man in connection with the attack on muslim worshippers in north london on monday. nine people were taken to hospital and one man, who fell ill before the attack, died at the scene. daniel sandford reports. you have to lift the van! the chaos caused by the attack on sunday night was captured in these dramatic new pictures. a hired van had apparently deliberately ploughed into a group
of people marking the holy muslim month of ramadan. nine ended up in hospital and one man died. amongst the crowd were abdul and his 13—year—old son. today they were recovering at home in their garden. abdul injured his soldier and his son narrowly escaped injury. because abdul has little english, his son spoke for both of them. i saw an angry driver in the van, in a company van. he looked at the muslims. he drove through and hit seven or eight people. one was underneath a van. my my best friend got hit on the
stomach. witnesses have told us that the van came down the road at speed, turning into this cul—de—sac and knocking down the worshippers as it came through. it then came to a rest between those two ballades. bollard that it hit has been removed and when it came to a stop, a young man was trapped underneath the van although he has survived. today, with north london in shock, the head of one of the affected mosques called for calm. islamophobia is on a raise so is a crime and we need to stop this madness. a cycle of violence wins will get us nowhere. the van was taken away yesterday evening and a suspected driver was arrested at the scene. he is still in custody, being held on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and of
reparation and commission of terrorist ats. the incoming leader of hong kong has told the bbc she cannot guarantee that freedom of speech will protect those who call for independence. carrie lam is the chief executive elect which is about to mark 20 years since the uk handed it back to mainland china. next week she'll be sworn into office by the chinese president. her predecessors have been accused of being beijing's puppet. can she escape the charge? she spoke to our china editor, carrie gracie. 20 years since hong kong returned to china, and its leaders are often accused of being beijing's puppets. they're chosen not by the public, but by an establishment committee, carrie lam won 777 votes. how can you claim to represent all the people of hong kong with only that number? well, i don't think it is a question of a number. the question is about legitimacy. i know perception is important, but to say that i am just a puppet, i won this election because of pro—beijing forces is,
sort of, a failure to acknowledge what i have done in hong kong over the last 36 years. i have pledged that, as part of my governance style, i will be engaging all sectors of the community, especially the young people. three years ago young people made their own effort to engage with a massive democracy protest that brought the heart of hong kong to a standstill for months. they won nothing, and now some say the only way to get democracy is independence from china. beijing sees such calls as a threat to national security. i think hong kong is an inseparable part of the people's republic of china. you think so, what if other hong kong citizens disagree? what if they wanted to call for independence? they disagree in the form of being an expression of personal opinion, then everybody could have a view.
you could condemn him and so on. but whether that expressing a view constitutes an offence, then we'll have to look at what the law says. what's the answer? we'll have to look at what the law says. can you promise the people of hong kong that never in your tenure will someone go to jail for calling for autonomy, self—determination or independence? well, i can promise the people of hong kong that we will abide by the rule of law. so that's a no, you can't make the promise? no. how can you promise when you don't know the actual situation, when you don't know the actual legislation in hong kong and to give a, sort of, perpetual situation answer, i don't think that is a very fair question to ask. china's influence in hong kong is growing — some of it open, some of it not. last year there was public outrage over the suspected abductions of publishers whose books were critical of chinese leaders.
they were held on the mainland and forced to make televised confessions. even after their return to hong kong, most have stayed silent about what happened. the hong kong police force have been working on this case and trying to collect evidence and come to a view. but unfortunately, without the co—operation of the people involved, it's just not possible. so do you think it's possible that those hong kong citizens are afraid to speak up about what happened to them, do you think that's a possibility? i don't know. so how many hong kong citizens need to disappear before you start to draw any conclusions about what might be happening to them? i think that is not a fair question. we are not here to quantify that sort of allegation, but if there are worries that have been undue interference into hong kong affairs, which should come under a high degree of autonomy, then the chief executive has to reflect those sentiments and speak up on behalf of the people. yes.
so would it be fair to imagine that you might have a conversation with president xi which goes — please, make sure that no security services from the mainland operate undercover on hong kong soil? will you be having that conversation? i will be very honoured to have a conversation with president xi on occasions, hopefully on the istjuly. carrie lam, thank you so much forjoining us. pleasure. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: highlighting the refugee crisis — why supermodel malek is raising awareness for child refugees in her home country. there was a bomb in the city centre. a code word known to be one used by the ira was given. army bomb experts were examining a suspect van when there was a huge explosion. the south african parliament has destroyed the foundation of apartheid by abolishing the population registration act, which for a0 years forcibly classified each citizen
according to race. germany's parliament, the bundestag, has voted by a narrow majority to move the seat of government from bonn to berlin. berliners celebrated into the night but the decision was greeted with shock in bonn. just a day old and the royal baby is tonight sleeping in his cot at home. early this evening, the new prince was taken by his mother and father to their apartments in kensington palace. the real focus of attention today was valentina tereshkova, the world's first woman cosmonaut. what do you think of the russian woman in space? i think it's a wonderful achievement and i think we might be able to persuade the wife it would be a good idea if i could to get her to go up there for a little while. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: votes are still being counted in georgia and they call it the most
expensive congressional election in american history. police in brussels have shot dead a suspected suicide bomber as he triggered a small explosion at the capital's main railway station. in portugal, a water—bombing plane has crashed as it was trying to battle forest fires there. there's no word on casualties from the aircraft, but at least 64 people have died in the fires since saturday. the government has declared a state of emergency in the forest region north—east of the capital, lisbon. our correspondentjames reynolds has more. this afternoon, portugal despatched more planes to fight its forest fires. the government is yet to make this region safe. the relief effort is too late for the village of varzeas, it's lost one in five of its residents. sisile tina told me she knew all the victims. she tried to count the dead. "two lived here", she said. "three, four, five and more." on saturday afternoon, the village
watched the forest catch fire. "there was a massive noise", amal told us, "and then we saw the flames." "we'd never seen anything like it", said valdemar, "it all happened in just a few seconds." residents were then forced to take an immediate, terrifying decision — stay here and risk getting caught by the flames or drive off in search of safety. many drove, it proved to be a fatal mistake. on this road, flames engulfed many in their cars. mario pinhal told portuguese tv that his family tried to escape in two vehicles. his wife, suzanna and their
daughtersjoanna and margarita drove ahead, but they died in the fire. translation: i regret leaving home. everyone has been kind, but i just want my wife and my daughters back. mario and his parents barely escaped in the car behind. "we should have died", mario mother's cries, "nobody would miss us." mario pinhal‘s home remains standing, it is a shattering monument to his family's decision to flee. if they'd simply stayed put, they would have all survived. james reynolds, bbc news, central portugal. world refugee day is highlighting the plight of more than 65 million people who've been forced from their homes. more than half them are under the age of 18. take mari malek, who came to the us as a child refugee. born in south sudan, her family fled the civil war
and settled in newjersey. now a supermodel, malek uses her profile to advocate for children in her home country. the bbc recently caught up with her. where i come from, south sudan, we are very strong and resilient. we've been going through war for over four decades and we are still sticking to it and still surviving and still living and still making things. so thatis living and still making things. so that is in my blood. we lived in the projects. i was just the awkward child, tall, black,
"where did she come from, who is she?"| "where did she come from, who is she?" i couldn't express myself because i didn't know how to speak english. when you do become a model it doesn't mean you get a contract and then you become rich and famous and then you become rich and famous and everything is awesome. it is ha rd and everything is awesome. it is hard work. and i am probably one of the few black women in the industry. i wish i could help all of them. but i can't. and it hurts my heart to see children, you know... suffering like this. everything that i'm doing connects,
because if i am djing, modelling or acting i always have to be doing it for a purpose and connecting it back to the story of where i come from. this is why i do this, to inspire refugee kids, to inspire anybody who is facing difficulties and think they cannot get out of it, yes, you can. you can do it. to be strong, resilient, never give up on myself — that's how i've made it this far. british actor daniel day lewis has announced he is to retire, and will make his final screen appearance in upcoming fashion drama phantom thread. and a warning — this vision contains flashing images. his spokesman said the actor was immensely grateful to all of this collaborators and audiences but would no longer be working as an actor. daniel day—lewis has won an oscar for best actor three times —
for his performances in my left foot, there will be blood and lincoln. the us toy—maker, mattel, has given barbie's companion ken a wide—ranging makeover. it's releasing 15 new dolls of varying body sizes and skin tones. ken's hairstyles now include the cornrow and a man bun. the bbc‘s tim allman reports. barbie, the famous teenage fashion model dolls by mattel, felt this was to bea model dolls by mattel, felt this was to be a special night, and then it happened, she met ken. once upon a time when the world existed only in black and white ken was the clean cut all—american boy next door. the love of barbie's life — conventional, reliable, solid. # walk like a conventional, reliable, solid. # walk likea man, conventional, reliable, solid. # walk like a man, talk like a man. but it is 2017 now and ken looks a little bit different. there is a lot of different kens for a start,
different skin colour, different hairstyle, different body type — tall, slim, not so slim, ken is now supposed to represent the modern world. there is a need both in popular culture, like, again, fashion or media, to see representation of everybody, so it is not isolating people for being different but it is reallyjust celebrating all types. # i am a barbie girl in a barbie world. this comes hot on the heels of barbie's own makeover last year. she was redesigned with different body types 110w redesigned with different body types now including tall, curvy and petite. the age old criticism was that the dole led to unrealistic expectations. young girls aspiring toa expectations. young girls aspiring to a body type that was simply unachievable. it is not we —— clear how successful this will be bad life
in plastic will be fantastic. # well, barbie, we arejust in plastic will be fantastic. # well, barbie, we are just getting started. oh, i love you, ken. elephant never forget but they are some of the most protective parents around and this footage from a south korean zoo shows the moment a baby element got in over his head in the pool element got in over his head in the pool. he was drowning and look what the parents do. they got into the pool and they pushed the distressed ca lf pool and they pushed the distressed calf to the shallow end. the rescue has been viewed thousands of times online. much more on that and much more on all of the news anytime on the bbc news website and you can reach me and most of the team on twitter. i'm @bbcmikeembley. thank you for watching. hello, once again.
as has been the case in recent days, tuesday brought 30 degrees widely across the southern half of the british isles and as they say on the bbc other heatwaves are available. if we get to sa on wednesday that will put us well up the table. not quite into pole position compared to 1976, but certainly up there. of course wednesday is the summer solstice. for some the real start of summer and it will certainly feel that way, starting with 20 degrees in the south of wales and into the west country, down into the south—west of england. once the sun is up the temperatures are set to soar. that's not quite the whole story. there will be a fair amount of cloud coming in across the northern half of britain and in the afternoon we may see pretty violent thunderstorms breaking out in the far north of wales and to the north of england, maybe the scottish borders as well. the story in the south will undoubtedly be about the heat,
especially if we get to that mark of 3a celsius, but it's notjust a south—eastern problem because it extends yet again into the west country, to the south—west of england, into wales, the heart of the midlands and up towards the north—west of england. further north there is a somewhat cooler feel to the weather. even some of these temperatures, for example 22 in belfast, is above average for the time of year. as you'll see, we get further north it does look very much more unsettled. those storms will rumble on during the course of the evening. and later on we will see the first signs of somewhat cooler conditions trying to move in from the atlantic. once we start putting that moisture into the mix of all of the heat that we've had of late, well, that could be quite explosive. if you catch some of these thunderstorms as they rumble from west to east, right through the heart of the british isles, will certainly know all about it. it could be gusty winds, damaging hail and there will be
a lot of water very quickly, so driving conditions will be treacherous. but at least they herald the arrival of cooler and fresher weather. that will not feel the case across east anglia and the south—east, where temperatures still well on into the 20s in a couple of locations. to the latter half of the week and towards the weekend low pressure is the dominant feature. weather fronts coming in from the atlantic. all the while introducing the cooler and fresher conditions from the atlantic rather than the air from the continent that we've experienced of late. hence that sort of temperature profile will take us into a cooler weekend. this is bbc news. the headlines: votes are being counted in a special election for a senate seat in the us state of georgia. it's being called the most expensive congressional race in us history, with both democrats and republicans pouring money into the contest. the vote is being seen as a test of the republican party's strength under the trump administration. belgian soldiers have shot a suspected suicide bomber in brussels central station. police said the man was wearing what appeared to be a bomb vest
and triggered a small explosion. he was shot by soldiers at the scene. federal prosecutors say he is dead. no—one else was injured. the incoming leader of hong kong has told the bbc she cannot guarantee that freedom of speech will protect those who call for independence. carrie lam is the chief executive—elect of the former british colony, which is about to mark twenty years since its handover to china. now on bbc news it's time for hardtalk.